Medicare Plans With $0 Monthly Premiums - Hidden Costs

If you’ve recently become eligible for Medicare, or are shopping for new plans, then you may have come across a few options that offer $0 monthly premiums. Yes, these are real, but make sure you know about the hidden costs.
Agnus Smith
Published on
October 3, 2018
Updated on
January 22, 2024

Open Enrollment for Medicare is a time to talk with an experienced agent and get some understanding about the various Medicare Advantage Plans. There is a lot to consider when choosing a plan, and having all of the facts will help make the choice easier. Medicare cost $130.00 in 2018, and may be the same for 2019.

Many people have misguided conceptions of the Medicare Advantage Plans and think that they may have to pay double premiums. Some older adults are not given the proper information, therefore, they have just Medicare parts A and B, and wonder what happened when they pay full cost for prescriptions.

Medicare And Medicare Advantage Plans

People with only the Original Medicare plan will have the red, white, and blue Medicare cards. When they choose to have only the traditional Medicare, they are not covered for prescription drugs and some other options that they forfeit. Medicare Advantage plans are plans that the Federal government pays to insure Medicare beneficiaries.

Their premiums can be from $0-$30 monthly. Recently, the federal government is requiring more Medicare insurance plans to have a $0 premium option. This means that the Medicare beneficiary will be covered by Medicare, and have access to prescription drug coverage, and some plans will offer vision and dental coverage.

What Does A $0 Monthly Premium Mean For You?

Advantage plans with a $0 monthly premium will provide all of the coverage that Medicare covers at no cost to the recipient. There may be, in some instances, a copay or a deductible. Prescription drugs will be at a very low cost, and some plans have a no copay benefit.

When choosing a plan with a $0 deductible, you’re really gambling with your health. If you aren’t paying any money up front, then chances are you’re going to be on the hook for some pretty hefty out-of-pocket costs. Meaning, you will certainly have a higher deductible, copay, and coinsurance, so make sure to really think it through before making any decisions.

Are All Advantage Plans The Same?

There is a difference in many of the Medicare Advantage plans. The Health Management Organization, or HMO, is generally the most widely used. With this plan you are required to have a primary care doctor, you will need to have a referral to see specialists, and sometimes you will incur a cost if you receive medical care outside the plan network.

The Preferred Provider Organization, PPO, you can see other doctors, you do not need to have a Primary Care Doctor, and a referral is not required. The Private Fee For Service Plan, you can go to any doctor that is on the Medicare approval list. You are not required to have a Primary Care Doctor, or a referral to see specialists. Other plan options are also available.

$0 Premiums Are Available For Everyone

All across the country, Medicare beneficiaries will be able to take advantage of the $0 premiums Medicare Advantage plans. People in various parts of the nation will benefit greatly from this government mandated insurance price reduction. Some states only had one Medicare Advantage plan with no others to choose from. Now they can have options, and the opportunity to get the right plan to meet their personal medical needs. States like Minnesota have what is known as a Medicare Cost plan, the only plan that was available for beneficiaries. Everyone in all states will have the $o Medicare premium in the upcoming year.

About 46% of Advantage plans already had a $0 premium that was offered to beneficiaries for the 2018 enrollment year. With that percentage increasing, the competition will be very strong and older adults on Medicare should get assistance when making a plan choice. Paying nothing up front for your premium looks good, but you want to know what all it entails.

You want to know if your prescriptions will be at a higher cost, or if they will remain the same. You also want to know if your copay or deductible will be increased or lower. All of these factors and more should be considered when enrolling in the Advantage plans. You want to be assured that you can obtain the services that you want. Some Advantage plans may require prior authorization or referrals.

Some people in the state of Minnesota had the Medicare Cost plan while others chose to take the Medigap insurance. This caused the beneficiaries to pay higher expenses out of their pockets. People with the Cost plan will continue with the traditional Medicare if they do not opt for a replacement plan, like the $0 premium plans.

During the Medicare Enrollment Period, there will be experienced insurance agents available to help you make the right choices. Make a phone call, or go online to find an expert in Medicare insurance plans and all of the updated information on the $0 monthly Medicare premium. No one should have to worry about the cost of medical insurance.

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